How to Find a Middle in the Ever Changing Vaccine DebatePayton Foeller
As a soon to be (official) momma (now a mom of a two-year-old), my husband and I have been wading through the great debate as of late: to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
There are several people who have verrrry strong opinions one way or another. It is truly difficult to find an unbiased review from someone who knows both sides of the debate well enough.
As for us, we are all for healthy babies and preventing disease in our child and our country; who isn’t? But when it comes to vaccinating it is hard to decide which direction is best for accomplishing those goals.
There are several things that scare me about vaccinating. And of course many factors and scary images being posted in social media that worry me about not vaccinating. We are on the hunt to find a balance, a middle ground, a place where we can find peace in what we give and live with what we don’t.
- Vaccine ingredient lists: looking up the ingredients on the CDC website is enough to scare anyone at first glance. Embalming fluid, mercury, insane amounts of aluminum, fetal lung cells, mouse brains, bovine serum (pigs!?), and a thousand words I can’t pronounce. These things do not sound like things I want to inject into my tiny, precious, little newborn (or 4 month old, or 6 month old, or 12 month old, or.. you get the point).
- The statistics: Not the super cited and fancy scientific stats (which are challenging to find), but the ones that show up on Pinterest searches and Facebook articles. Verified or not, when I see graphics saying ‘the U.S. has the highest number of vaccines (36) of any country AND the highest infant mortality rate; while Japan has the Lowest in both at 11 standard vaccines but the lowest in infant mortality,’ I get concerned for my babies and for our country. Of course, other factors are involved, and who knows where they got these numbers… but it is still scary to hear…
- The Future: Now this may be silly but when someone tells me I MUST do something, my immediate reaction is ‘Absolutely not.’ I’m aware they may be right (and I should do what they say), but when someone tells me I have to do something I just do Not want to do it. Or visa versa. It’s the classic don’t touch the red button scenario. Explain to me, lead me to the right decision, but no one will decide what I ‘must do.’ Call me crazy (many people already do), but I am fearful that these ‘strong suggestions’ will turn into laws. And then these ‘helpful vaccines’ will turn into mandated who knows what… and don’t say things like that don’t happen. They do.
- Not vaccinating: my child will get measles and end up in a full body oxygen chamber from World War 2 times and then her arms will fall off. I feel like a scare tactic is what most ‘pro vaccine’ people use to convince people on the fence. I don’t respond well to this; I need facts and studies and years of evidence to back up your claims. There are these things called ‘recalls’ that exist, so rather than trusting you I think I wanna watch how it plays out first. Simply trying to scare me into something is probably not going to work (although it does scare me).
I have not taken a side yet because the choices, in my opinion, should not have to be all or nothing. I think that there is validity to vaccinations, however, I think that they should not be declared the ‘end all, be all’ for every person. There are many things that vary by child and many factors must be considered. I intend to make this a start to my journey and keep learning as much as I can and try to make informed decisions as they arise.